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RE: nana vs. juvenile rex



> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of Hammer
> Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 10:15 PM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: nana vs. juvenile rex
> 
> Well, the way Nanotyrannus was animated on tonight's JFC, they made 
> it appear as a different species from T. rex very strikingly.   The 
> juvenile rex looked like an adult merely "shrank down" - 
> looked to me as though the legs were not in proportion to 
> what they should have been in a juvenile and the head 
> especially was not right ... right?

Precisely. They just took their T. rex model and shrank the dimensions.

To paraphrase Samuel L. Jackson: "Allometry, motherf**er. Do You Speak It?"

Yes, a T. rex the same mass as a "Nanotyrannus" would look remarkably
like... Nanotyrannus. And this is true regardless of whether they are sister
taxa, the same species, or whatever: Currie has shown that limb allometry in
the different tyrannosaurid subgroups are fairly consistent.

> So - anyway - what do think?

Ummm... Better luck next episode?

Seriously, this one had less fact checking than the first. The graphics
consistently read "Nanotyrannosaurus" rather than "Nanotyrannus"; the dates
for the Cretaceous were off by 10 Myr (they gave it as 135-55 Ma!?!); the
graphics for the teeth were wrong (esp. missing the deep tyrant roots); the
"septic bite" argument would hold for all serrated theropod teeth, and not
uniquely for T. rex; and while the graphics model was good their animation
step cycle (especially for a run) was way off (it appeared that the
footfalls were further from the midline than while walking, when instead
footfalls should be in line (that is, closer to the midline than the legs
are while standing)). 

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Fax: 301-405-0796

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA